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Self Improvement

How to Lose Your Loneliness, and Find Yourself



find yourself

My name is Ellsworth Jones, a young entrepreneur from the DC area. I’ve helped launch notable brands such as Elegant Erkél Neckwear, Conscious Crooks, Redd’s Mombo Sauce, and a few other small businesses.

But before the sudden burst of ambition, there was a tragic accident that left me nearly paralyzed. I spent a lot of time on bed rest, pondering the exact question placed here before me: how will I transform that loneliness into a meaningful time for self-reflection?

There’s a misconception floating around that created the idea of loneliness and sulking being synonymous; but it’s deeper than that.

We first need to realize that loneliness simply means “time to ourselves,” a rare opportunity to be more in-tune and find yourself. Ourselves. Upon this understanding, we can begin to explore our own mind without fear of judgment from others.

Then comes the fun part.

So what makes me qualified?

In March of 2015, I was involved in a head-on collision that sent me to the hospital. Surgery was performed, metals were inserted. When I awoke, I was in a lounge chair on the beaches of Maui; or at least that’s how it felt with all the morphine and drugs in my system.

When I came too, I realized that my hip had basically been replaced and I was to be stuck in a bed or wheelchair for who knows how long. This was all just days after my 24th birthday.

This could either be the start of a slippery slope, OR my chance to elevate and evolve into my greatness.


To Find Yourself: Start with a Simple Question…

Are you happy? Satisfied with your current state of being? How do you feel?

If we can begin to be self-aware, we can get a better grip on what we like and don’t like. Write down your answers and elaborate on any parts you deem necessary. For everything you don’t like, write down a way to improve it, or something you can do to make up for it. This is how you slowly find yourself.


But how do you initially become self-aware?

Meditations are a good start. Possibly one of the best ways of learning to “be present” and focused on the now, meditation offers an internal perspective very rarely accessed in our busy society. This can help you find yourself. (That is, if you can manage to maintain a steady breath while sitting or standing in place for 10 -15+ minutes.)

With our attention span getting shorter from generation to generation, it sounds a lot harder in theory than in practice.

But here’s a little secret: picture you’re on a tour bus that lets you hop on and off as you please. For every enticing thought that presents itself, entertain it for a little, just enough to satisfy your curiosity. Then jump right back on the tour bus.

This not only allows you to have more conscious control over your thoughts, but it also allows your mind the chance to wander without feeling caged in or limited.

Sometimes when you lose your way, you find yourself.” – Mandy H.


What worked for me?

The first few days were the hardest. It started with a rude realization that time still goes on – with or without you. Something that is hard to come to terms with, but a necessary step in our evolution of self.

It opened a new perspective of thought. Maybe I spent so much time focusing on others imposed perceptions of time and value; I had neglected to create my own. This would explain that sense of solitude felt even in the presence of others. Reluctantly I asked, was I lonely?


The realization.

Maybe I was. But now what? A few weeks later, I stumbled on a video about yoga and meditation. Funny, because this was right at the time the remote control battery went out. “This must be fate,” I thought.

So as they start explaining the benefits of both yoga and meditation, they began to show images of people sitting quietly in sessions to themselves. Seemed kind of like how I spent my time anyway, couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

It took 6 sessions of concentrated thinking about nothing to get it right. This is where that secret would have helped. But when I got it, everything started to make sense. I began to feel the hairs on my arms rise to attention. It became easier to breathe, and the air felt fresher.

Breathe in through the nose. Hold. Exhale through the mouth;” my new favorite cadence.


Knowledge of self.

Then came self-actualization and understanding. It became clear how average and uniform everything had become.

We all start off having huge dreams and goals. We all have million dollar product ideas we don’t pursue; only to see someone else presenting something similar on QVC years later. We all have that potential for greatness; but few of us actually do something about it.

Too willing to play the victim of life and fall for the “you won’t” and the “you can’t” comments of the world. But even the word ‘impossible’ contradicts itself in saying ‘I’m-possible’.

So enjoy this time of awareness. Seeing the ways in which we are all the same helps in shedding light on how we are unique. And this is where you shift into gear and ultimately – find yourself.


Still I rise.

Insanity is defined as repeating the same actions and expecting different results. So with the new perspective that anything is possible, it now comes down to execution. If the first step was the knowledge of your likes and dislikes, Step 2 would be to set SMART goals.

These SMART goals are benchmarks you’d consider achievable, measureable, and as specific as possible. This will play as the foundation for your gradual improvement, as it still does mine.

One of my biggest personal trials was becoming more in control of my stress level. A large feat it seemed in theory. But in just switching my perception of stress, learning to breathe slowly, and understanding that everything isn’t in my control, the goal became much more manageable.

I began to control what I could, and not worry so much about what I couldn’t.


The Plateau.

Upon reaching this level of self-awareness, it finally started to work! I no longer feel the solitude and anxiety that once overcame me. I couldn’t figure what was stranger: having this much understanding and being so in tune; or that it took so long to find myself.

Years later and I never want to be lost again.

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Self Improvement

Couple Entrepreneurs: How to Make It Happen With Your Partner



Partners entrepreneurs


Have you always dreamed of having success as an entrepreneur? Thoughts of working for yourself, doing things you’re passionate about, and not worrying about working for someone else may linger in your mind most of the time. If you’re married, there is a chance that your partner has some of the same goals, and that means the two of you could eventually become a pair of successful entrepreneurs who motivate one another, continually work hard, and reach all kinds of goals that will get you both further in life.


How to Make It Work


Although you may like the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur while your partner does the same, it’s not uncommon to have some concerns about the situation. You may worry that you’re both going to take on too much and not have enough time for one another, but that isn’t always the case. It’s all about prioritizing work, setting a schedule, and being there to support one another through the ups and downs that will eventually occur.


Before working together to achieve goals, sit down and have a full conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve and the role you’ll each take on. Both of you will need to come to an agreement to keep work and the relationship separately while being respectful to one another. You can’t expect to have success with your partner if neither of you are respecting one another or collectively sharing ideas. You’ll need to focus on communication and compromising at times to make things work on a long-term basis.


Prime Examples of Successful Entrepreneur Couples


If you’re in need of motivation and encouragement because you’re not sure how to get your start in a specific industry with your partner, it may be best for you to learn a bit more about some of the successful entrepreneur couples out there. These couples work hard to achieve their goals and they support one another in various business ventures. They put forth the effort that is required of them to consistently achieve their goals.


Chris Sacca is a successful billionaire who once was fired from a job as a lawyer and then moved on to Google where had more opportunities to learn, invest, and become the success he is today. He is now the owner of a successful venture capital fund, known as Lowercase Capital. Although he’s had much success in his career, Chris Sacca’s wife, Crystal English Sacca, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She’s spent most of her career creating compelling and engaging commercials as well as digital advertisements for various companies. She’s worked for several of the most popular brands, including Sprint and HBO. In addition to these accomplishments, she works as an art director. While these two individuals aren’t doing the same things, they’re a married couple supporting one another while they each work hard to achieve their own personal goals.


In addition to Chris Sacca and his wife, Stewart and Lynda Resnick are another good example of a successful entrepreneur power couple. They currently have a net worth of 3.9 billion dollars. So, what is it that they’re selling? There is a good chance you’ve consumed at least one of the many products they own and distribute, such as Fiji Water or Halos oranges. The pair met when Lynda started her own ad agency and was assisting Stewart with a project for the business he was running at that time. Over time, they started working collectively together to invest and sell assorted products to the public, many of which are naturally good for human consumption.


Do What You Love and Respect One Another


There are plenty of entrepreneur couples out there. Some are just getting started while others have been in business for decades and continue to achieve a high level of success. Although you may be focused on figuring out your passion and what you want to do to get further in life while making a decent income, it’s important to understand that it’s possible for you to achieve the same level of success as some of these people who are earning millions of dollars each year. Most people don’t become a success overnight but figuring out what you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen is a great way to get started.


In addition to figuring out what you’d love to do for the rest of your life, you’ll need to remember to always respect your partner throughout the process. The thing about these successful couples is that they’re willing to provide support and guidance, they know how to communicate, and they believe in one another. If you don’t have respect, trust, and support in the relationship, it’s going to be difficult to have success as entrepreneurs together.


If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business with your partner by your side, it’s not a dream that is too farfetched. In fact, there are lots of successful couples that are working hard, reaching goals, and living the life they’ve always dreamed of having.

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Self Improvement

How Does Sleep Affect Your Mental Health?



Sleep and Mental Health

Sleep is our body’s repair mode. Our cells, tissues, muscles, and hormones are all replenished during the deepest phases of sleep. This ensures that we are operating at our best the next day.

Experts recommend about seven (7) hours of sleep a day for an average adult. This is keeps you mentally and physically focused. But what happens when you don’t get enough? Is there a link between sleep and our mental health?


The Link Between Sleep and Mood

Even someone who isn’t an expert on the subject can appreciate how active they feel after a good night’s sleep. In contrast, one can feel exhausted, irritated, and distracted after not getting enough the night before. That’s because sleep plays an important role in your mood and performance.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study in which the subjects were restricted sleep to only 4.5 hours each night. After a week, the subjects reported greater levels of negative emotions and mental tiredness. Once they were allowed to sleep normally however, there was a sharp improvement in their mood.

Just as sleep impacts your mood, your present state of mind also has an equivalent effect on the quality of your sleep. If you’re anxious or stressed, your body will release hormones that force you to stay awake through the night, depriving you of much-needed rest. The result is a cycle of stress and lack of sleep.

Research suggests that around 15-20 percent of people who are dealing with insomnia (an inability to fall asleep) go on to develop serious mental depression. While research is still being conducted about the exact nature of the relationship between sleep and depression, there has been enough progress to indicate a strong correlation between the two.

People who suffer from insomnia are at a significantly greater risk to develop depression or anxiety. In fact, the onset of these conditions can be accurately predicted by studying the patient’s sleep patterns.


The Link Between Sleep and Learning

In addition to your mood, sleep also appears to impact your mind’s ability to learn. Three separate processes govern learning in your brain: acquisition, consolidation, and recall.

Acquisition entails receiving information and storing it in your neural circuitry. The second process, consolidation, strengthens the neural connections in your mind so that the memory is stored in an optimally useful form. Recall is when the brain accesses this stored memory when it is needed.

Poor sleep compromises all three of these processes. However, it is acquisition and recall that are most affected by sleep deprivation. Recent research has also demonstrated that a lack of sleep can reduce the brain’s ability to consolidate information it is presented with.

Students take note: inadequate sleep may negatively affect your chances of passing that exam. Indeed, you may even find yourself forgetting how to do simple tasks. If you’ve ever been involved in back-to-back all-nighters during exam week, you may already have experienced forgetting a solution to a simple problem – even after you’d done it half a dozen times!


Dealing with Sleep Problems To Improve Mental Health

If you’re experiencing emotional apathy, anxiety, depression, or irritability, one of the steps you can take before seeking a professional is to assess your sleep situation.

Treat sleep as a ritual. Similar to reading to a child before putting them to bed, a habit that helps one disconnect from gadgets and put their mind in a relaxed mood can go a long way towards ensuring a restful, wholesome, sleep experience.

Making time before going to bed is a good idea. Avoid exposure to bright lights (such as those emitted by computer screens and smartphones). Try not to consume caffeine or alcohol, as all of these can be detrimental to the quality of sleep (and may even prevent the onset of sleep completely).

Obviously, the way you’ve set up your bed (and your entire bedroom) will also play an important role in how well you’re able to sleep. For example, memory foam mattresses are often recommended for individuals who sleep in awkward postures that can cause back pain. For some good reviews, check out The Sleep Judge.

If you can’t get rid of thoughts buzzing around in your head, you may want to listen to some natural background sounds, such as rainfall or wind rushing through trees. This will ease your mind away from distractions, helping you drift off to sleep. If you get the recommended amount, see how replenished you feel the next day!


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